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Saturday Apr 29, 2017

Nisar questions 'commotion' over Dawn Leaks, says Interior Ministry yet to issue notification


KARACHI: In what appeared to be criticism of a social media post by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said it was unfortunate that tweets were being used by institutions to handle key matters.

"I believe that these tweets are like poison for Pakistan's democracy. It is unfortunate that we handle these matters through tweets," he told reporters at a press conference in Karachi.

"A non-issue has been turned into an issue. No notification has yet been issued, and it will be according to the unanimous recommendations of the [Dawn Leaks inquiry] committee," he said, referring to an executive order issued earlier today by the Prime Minister's Office.

The executive order said that PM Sharif had approved the recommendations of the Dawn Leaks inquiry committee, and that he had ordered that the Foreign Affairs portfolio of his Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi be withdrawn and that proceedings be initiated against Rao Tehsin Ali, the principal information officer at the Information Ministry, under the E&D rules 1973 on the charges based on the report findings.

Shortly after the PM's order, the DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor sent a tweet from his official account rejecting the government 'notification' on the Dawn Leaks case, saying it was "incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board".

But, addressing reporters, Nisar asked why there was speculation about the government's notification when none was yet issued.

"When no notification has yet been issued, what is all the fuss about?" he remarked.

"According to the Rule of Business, the PM Office cannot issue a notification. A notification [in this regard] will be issued by the Ministry of Interior and not the PM Office," he said.

He added that the notification would be "exactly the same as the recommendations of the committee".

"I had stated earlier that PM had in letter and spirit accepted the recommendations of the committee. They will be implemented in similar manner when Interior Ministry issues the notification," he said.

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